LTE: Bear Tavern lowered speed limit is great but late

To the Editor:

In New Jersey, a parent who fails to give a child preventative or life-saving medicine is guilty of neglect. Patterns of actions or omission over time constitute “chronic neglect”. In my opinion, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, Deputy Administrator Aaron “Tim” Watson, and the Freeholder Board are all guilty of chronic neglect of the children of Bear Tavern Elementary School, and they should be prosecuted accordingly.

It was about a decade ago that Bear Tavern parents filled the Freeholder Board meeting room, presenting a petition asking simply that their children be provided with the 25 mph school zone speed limit required by NJ State law. The Administration refused, and refused, and refused again, and the Freeholder Board did little to nothing to change their minds. Were the Bear Tavern children somehow less worthy of protection than other children in Mercer County? I guess to Brian and Aaron, they were.

Yet former Mercer County Counsel Arthur Sypek seemed to agree with us, stating in an email to the County engineer, “I am concerned about the County’s liability exposure if in fact we are not adhering to the school zone statute and there is an accident within the school zone. Our defense that we followed NJ DOT standard engineering practice in establishing a higher limit will not be a defense to the County not adhering to the State law within school zones.”

I contacted the Freeholder Board and the Administration throughout the last 10 years, passing along additional information and articles related to school zone safety. I may have received one or two “Thank you for the information” replies, but no action to comply with the law.

I am overjoyed that Mercer County has finally agreed to give Bear Tavern a 25 mph speed limit. But please, let’s not congratulate the County for this new level of protection. The children should have had it all along.

Kim Robinson,
Hopewell Township

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